7. Riverside Park Was Planned by the Man Who Designed Central and Prospect Parks

In 1865, William R. Martin, a New York City parks commissioner, was the first to propose that the area from 72nd to 125th Streets should be converted into a park. Prior to Riverside Park, the 191-acre stretch of land was undeveloped. Frederick Law Olmsted, a renowned American landscape architect of the 19th century, created the initial designs for Riverside Park and Riverside Drive. His design included a “park with a tree-lined drive curving around the valleys and rock outcroppings and overlooking the river.” In addition to Riverside Park, Olmsted was involved in the design of Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, both of which were created in partnership with the architect Calvert Vaux.